Developer: Storyline City
The City of Atlanta’s metro population is expected to grow by 2.5 million in the next twenty years. In anticipation of the growth, the city created a competition to look for new approaches and best practices to provide for urban affordable housing in a way that serves the community, creates a place which occupants are proud of, and is financially viable. The project involved both an architectural and development component.
Partnering with Storyline City, we believe that the best way to create successful affordable housing is integrate it into a diverse mixed-use design with a variety of tenants, ample public green space, and commercial components which serve both the residents and the larger community.
One of the historically difficult aspects of providing for affordable housing is paying for maintenance. The traditional affordable housing model was to create a building that fully caters to affordable units and pays for the necessary maintenance through a mix of subsidies and funds from reduced rent. To keep the residences affordable, the rent is kept so low that paying for regular maintenance becomes difficult. In the past, this resulted in notoriously unwelcoming units constructed with building materials and products that we inexpensive, required almost no maintenance and received little once it was needed.
By integrating the affordable housing seamlessly into a larger mixed-use structure, the innovative new model bypasses the financial catch-22 and makes no social distinction between affordable housing and the rest of the community. The complex is anchored by a corner grocery store and community facing retail. The interior of the project provides for health services as well as live/work style studio rental units for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Rainwater management is utilized to create a feature water element on the site and supply for community gardens and green spaces. A mix of affordable and market rate units allow for a diversity of incomes. The innovative construction technique utilizes premanufactured units with insulated precast systems to provide for durability and sound privacy between units. A series of roof decks and terraces are distributed throughout the project to provide a variety of amenities to tenants.